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Business support - Coronavirus

Support for businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic

The government announced a new discretionary business grants scheme on 1 May and we have been waiting for the guidance which was published on 14 May. We are in the process of determining our scheme and setting up an application process and this will take some time. We ask for patience as we do this as it is important that we establish a consistent approach that complies with government guidance and further clarification is awaited. In the meantime please do not contact the business help team in relation to this scheme in order to allow us to focus on this new task.

Business Support Grants Fund

The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief, with the exception of those occupied for personal use (e.g. private stables, beach huts, moorings) on 11 March 2020 will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

The current proposal is that properties which would have qualified for the retail discount on 11 March 2020 will be entitled to a grant of either £10,000 where the rateable value is £15,000 or less or £25,000 where the rateable value is greater than £15,000 but less than £51,000.

How to apply for grant funding

The council will be contacting all businesses on our register who we believe may be entitled to funding. 

The detailed guidance which the council will be using to help identify eligible businesses can be found here.

We are asking businesses to complete the application form below and we will assess your eligibility. Please note we have been made aware of a scam text about business grants, the council has not contacted businesses via text.

Apply for grant funding 

To speed up the process we are encouraging applicants to use the online form but if you require a hard copy please email and we will post one out to you.

The application form will allow us to arrange for payment to be made and we anticipate that these payments will commence from 1 April 2020. It is inevitable that applications will number in the thousands and as such we ask that you be patient as we undertake what is a significant exercise to ensure the correct allocation of public money to those who are entitled to it under the schemes.

Business Rates Holiday

There will be a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.  Businesses that received the retail discount (33%) in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled very shortly to show a 100% discount. 

In order to allow businesses some necessary breathing space the council are suspending the recovery process for the first quarter of 2020/21 given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. This means that 2020/21 business rates bills and sundry debtor invoices (including for rent) will still be issued but no further recovery action will be taken between April and June. This is relevant to those businesses not currently covered by the business rates holiday and those who are in arrears on historic bills.

Further Advice

Boost Lancashire are also offering support to businesses affected by Coronavirus.

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